How do you put together a colorful plate of food? Here is a simple solution: start with the most vibrant ingredients you can find and treat them minimally. A visit to the farmers market yesterday presented some clear ingredient choices. I bought some farm fresh rainbow chard, green cauliflower and a dozen of eggs. The cauliflower rice bowl concept came from Heidi Swanson’s website Cookbooks 101. It’s also the project of the week at IHCC: The colorful plate.
The rest is easy. Very little cooking is involved. More time is spent composing this post than cooking the cauliflower rice bowl which comprises of:
- Steam the cauliflower, which is cut into wedges, until al dente. Chop them up coarsely to the size slightly larger than grains of rice. The shape and the slight crunch of the chopped cauliflower gives it the name cauliflower rice.
- Cut the red stem off from the rainbow chard. Slice them in bite size and set aside. Cook them briefly with the cauliflower, if you like. I left them in their raw state.
- Boil the eggs. You can poach them, if you prefer. I cooked the dozen of eggs sous vide. The water bath was set at a constant temperature at 160°F for 40 minutes and then shocked the eggs in ice water. I did not know there were excess amount of eggs in the fridge. Sous vide provides the most precise method to cook a large batch, without fail.
- Blend the spinach and chive with some olive oil in a Vitamix machine. I added two cloves of garlic and a dash of salt for seasoning. Toss some mixed salad greens with the spinach and chive oil.
- Make a spice dressing by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of turmeric, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin and a touch of cayenne pepper with 2/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil.
- Assemble the bowl with the mixed greens of your choice, cauliflower rice, slices of rainbow chard stems, one or two eggs. Drizzle the dressing on the vegetables and the eggs. For crunch, sprinkle some toasted pepitas on top.
I call this a framework or guideline rather than a recipe, because you can pick a wide variety of vibrant seasonal vegetables as desired. The eggs add some creaminess. Heidi Swanson used avocado in her bowl as well, another great ingredient to include. You may even skip the eggs for a pure vegetarian dish. The puree and the dressing heighten the flavor and bring everything together. There is nothing more colorful, fresh, light and super natural than a dish like this!